California is one of the few states that have universal helmet law implemented in them. What this means is that you have to wear a helmet whether you are the one in control of your motorcycle or a passenger sitting behind the driver. Failure to do so could mean the loss of value compensatory damages, not just the loss of a life or the health of the accident victim.
In addition to that, in some states you have to wear a helmet on a motorcycle and a bicycle, especially if the cyclist is a child. In other states, you might be required to wear a helmet only when the vehicle is motorized, but that’s not the case with California where you have to wear helmet regardless. It is still quite surprising that many states have chosen not to make helmets necessary in all cases despite their many benefits.
What Protections Do Motorcycle Helmets Offer?
Before we get into the explanation of whether helmets offer any protection or not, we must not forget the fact that California implemented the universal helmet law in 1992 and just a year later the state saw 37% drop in the number deaths caused by motorcycle accidents. It is also known that riders of motorcycles, whether passengers or drivers, receive 69% fewer head injuries when they are wearing helmets. If you are riding a motorcycle and not wearing a helmet, you could end up with a fine.
You Must Wear The Helmets That Meet The Standards
The standards that your helmets must meet are called DOT standards. DOT stands for Department of Transportation. When buying a helmet, you must look for the sticker that stays that your helmet meets the DOT standards. Here is what’s included in these standards:
- At minimum you must have a helmet that has a 1-inch liner on its inside. Polystyrene is the primary material that the inner liner should be made of.
- There should be a chin strap on your helmet. Rivets should be used to attach the straps with the helmet to provide maximum protection. Rivets should be solid.
- The weight of your helmet should be close to 3lbs.
- The shell of the helmet must keep your entire head area inside it in such a way that no part of your head under the helmet should be out of it by more than two-tenths of an inch.
Only helmets that meet these standards should be worn by motorcycle riders in California in order to avoid fine from traffic police. These guidelines have been issued because helmets that meet these standards are proven to offer maximum protection to the motorcycle and bicycle riders.
What If You Are Not Wearing A Helmet And Have An Accident?
There can be a scenario when you get involved in an accident and are not wearing a helmet. Of course, if you are not wearing a helmet it will be assumed that you chose to not wear. However, the important thing to know here is that your lawyers can always prove that you wearing or not wearing the helmet have no effect on the damages that the accident has caused. In short, you should still get compensated in the same way as a person with a helmet would be compensated in a similar case.
If you have received a head injury, the first thing that will be examined is the severity of the head injury. A severe head injury could disable you or cause many other emotional, physical or mental damages that will remain you permanently. After examining the severity of the injuries it is estimated how much compensation you will receive for the negligence of the party.
Why you will receive the compensation is because the fact that you were not wearing helmet does not make the negligent party innocent i.e. they were still at fault and it was their negligence that caused the accident.
Whether you are wearing a helmet or not, you will still receive compensation for the following damages done to you if the other party is at fault in an accident:
- You will receive compensation for all the medical costs. You will be hospitalized right after the accident, you might need permanent care at home, you will have to buy medicines, and a therapist might be needed for you for some time too. All these expenses will be compensated including the cost of your stay at the hospital.
- When you receive a head injury and other physical damages, you will not be able to join your duty straight away. In fact, severe head injuries might cost you your job. This is loss of income and has to be compensated by the negligent party. You will be compensated based on how much you were earning before the accident and how much you are capable of earning after the accident.
- Panic attacks, stress, anger and other forms of mental persecutions are also to be compensated in an automobile accident.
- Of course, when you are physically injured you will have to go through severe pain and agony. You can get compensated. But when your state has helmet laws, like California, you will be liable for your own negligence and have your recovery offset by your degree of fault for your head injury, for example. This can kill a pain and suffering claim as well in some cases with an unsympathetic jury. You must make sure that you received all you are owed due to the accident, and that your lawyer is the one to prove it.
- Loss of consortium is another thing that could be brought into the equation. When you are injured your spouse suffers the loss of love. Your sexual relation with your spouse could also get affected badly.
The case can get only slightly difficult in the case that you were not wearing a helmet. But, as mentioned above, it does not free the negligent party from its fault.
Contact With The Right Lawyers
In order to receive compensation for all the losses and damages that result from an accident, you need to have a seasoned lawyer on your side. Such a lawyer will get you the compensation before even letting the case go in the court. Ehline Law Firm PC is always there to help you with any vehicle related accident cases. It is not your job to think whether you will receive any compensation or not because you were not wearing helmet. Get the first free consultation with Ehline Lawyers and you will be guided with care so you can be solaced for your pain and suffering.